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Genesis Assignments

Recommended Methodology for Learning Experiences:

As a way to assist you in getting the most out of the learning experiences below, I suggest you do the following:

1) Read the required textbook reading first.Make a sincere effort at understanding the material– with particular attention to material that relates to the questions.

2) Read through the questions in the assignment.

3) Check my website (under the appropriate class title) for any hints in regard to the questions."Hints" refers to the notations I sometimes include that, in a sentence or two, give you the gist of the article and or the point of the question(s) I have asked you to read in conjunction with the required texts.If you do not have internet access, let me know right away so I can provide a hard copy of any hints.

4) Read any extra articles and complete the assignment.

 

Assignment 1 – Read Genesis 1-2, then read Three Views on Creation and Evolution in its entirety.Look up the passages in Genesis 1-2 referred to in the textbook so as to see how each view interprets them.Then, in 5-10 pages, summarize each viewpoint consecutively, being careful to include that view's most important arguments.After each summarization, include a paragraph or two noting that view's biggest problems or weaknesses.

 

Assignment 2 - Read Genesis 1-2 again, but focus on 1:1-3.Read Hamilton's treatment of the days of Genesis, followed by Ross, chs. 1-8 and his appendix B.In 5-10 pages, answer questions 1-5:

1)What are some possible ways to translate Genesis 1:1-3, and what does each translation imply or suggest (i.e., WHY would someone translate the verses a particular way)?

2)Dovetailing with number 1, summarize in your own words the various viewpoints as to how Genesis 1:1-3 could be interpreted.Which view does Ross take?

3)What is the controversy relating to Day 4?How do young- and old-earthers handle the problem?Which position do you think is strongest?

4)What other problems does Ross see for the "literalist" young earth position relating to the days of creation?

5)Using your material in questions 1-3, which position (of the three options from Moreland and Reynolds) do you consider the strongest?

6)What is the importance of God resting on Day 7?(Why is there a day 7?)

7)Now read Johnson's Darwin on Trial in its entirety.In another 3-5 pages, summarize: 

a)What you feel are Johnson's best arguments against Darwinism

b)How you think Johnson would respond to theistic evolutionists and "old-earth" creationists.

 

Assignment 3 – Read the following material in the order given:

(a) Read Hamilton's comments on Genesis 1:26 (as well as 3:22 and 11:7).Note particular the view that interprets the plural pronoun "us" as God's angelic host or "council."

(b)Read my article, "Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and the Sons of God" – this is scheduled for January 2001 publication in Dallas Seminary's journal Bibliotheca Sacra.I have also posted it on my website (www.professorheiser.com).This article contains a text-critical discussion that you don't need to comprehend fully, but also contains an evangelical introduction to the divine council – the article is REQUIRED for this class.

In 3-5 pages, what are the various interpretive options for the plural of Genesis 1:26 – who is referred to by the plural pronoun "us"?

 

Assignment 4 – Re-read Hamilton's treatment of the image of God with reference to Gen. 1:26-27.In 3-5 pages, what are the possible interpretations as to what the image is?(See the hints on my website for this question as well).For help, read my sermon notes from a message I preached on the image of God.It's posted on my website at www.professorheiser.com

 

Assignment 5 – In a total of 5-10 pages, answer the following questions:

1)Read Genesis 3 and then Hamilton's treatment of that chapter.How would the author answer the following questions:

a)What does Genesis 3:15 mean?What are the interpretive possibilities?Which one is most consistent with New Testament allusions to the Genesis 3?

b)Is the woman's position of subordination to the man (i.e., that wives should "submit" to their husbands) a result of the fall or part of God's pre-fall creation order?Give me the arguments / evidence.

c)Generally, what are the possible meanings of Genesis 3:16? 

2)Read Romans 5.What is the importance of a literal Adam (and Eve) and historical fall with respect to that New Testament chapter

3)Read Ross, ch. 12.Summarize Ross's views on the historicity and extent of the Fall.

4)Read Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 for comparison to Genesis 2-3.

a)Is "Satan" considered a person?

b) With respect to Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19, WHY do you suppose "the Shining One" (Lucifer / Helel in Hebrew) fell from grace (an answer of "pride" isn't sufficient – the answer needs to focus on WHAT caused him to be puffed up and offended).Hint:consider the nature of humans and angelic beings – who was superior (cf. Psalm 8:5) and who was put in charge of Eden – the dwelling place of God and His council?(See below in regard to the descriptions of Eden for this equation).

c)Re-read the short paragraph (actually, a few sentences) in my article relating to the place where the divine council met.Compare Genesis 2-3, Isaiah 14:12-15, and Ezekiel 28:11-19.What do you notice about the descriptions of Eden in Genesis and Ezekiel?What are the similarities and differences between the descriptions of the entity in Ezekiel 28, the "serpent", and the cherubim (a pluralword, remember) assigned to guard the entrance to Eden?What do you think went on in Eden at the Fall?

 

Assignment 6– Read Hamilton's treatment of Genesis 4-5, then read Ross chs. 13-15.Finally, read "The Antediluvian Section of the Sumerian King List and Genesis 5," by John Walton, Biblical Archaeologist 44 (1981):207-208.In 3-5 pages, answer the following questions:

1)Where did Cain get his wife?

2)How would Ross, Hamilton, and Walton answer the question of whether or not the long life spans of Genesis 5 are to be taken literally?

 

Assignment 7 – Read Hamilton's treatment of Genesis 6:1-4, then Ross ch. 16 and his appendix C.In 4-7 pages, answer the following questions:

1)What happened in Genesis 6:1-4?What are the interpretive options scholars have offered to explain this passage?Of what importance are Jude and 2 Peter for correctly interpreting Genesis 6:1-4?

2)Who were the nephilim?Using a concordance, trace these individuals through the Old Testament.NOTE:the nephilim were also known by other names (cf. Numbers 13:33 for example):Anakim (sons of Anak), Rephaim, Zamzummim, Emim.Where do these individuals show up in the Old Testament and how were they distinguished visually?Do you see any relationship to their presence in Genesis 6 and later Israelite encounters with them?

3)What is Ross'interpretive position on the passage?

 

Assignment 8 – Read Hamilton's treatment on Genesis 6-8, then read Whitcomb's The World that Perished in its entirety.Finally, read Ross chs. 17-19.In 5-10 pages, answer the following questions:

1)How does Hamilton handle the comparative pagan material to which Genesis is so similar? (i.e., the Babylonian flood stories that pre-date the Genesis record).Is this a problem for inspiration?

2)Where do the above authors agree in the interpretation of these chapters in Genesis?Where do they disagree?What are the basic arguments for a global flood?For a localized flood?

3)Which position, global or local, do you think is the strongest?

 

Assignment 9 – Read Hamilton on Genesis 9-11, then read Ross ch. 20.Also, re-read the section in my article that deals with the relationship of Deut. 32:8-9 and Genesis 10-11.In 4-7 pages, answer the following questions:

1)What interpretations have been offered to explain the curse of Canaan (Gen. 9:25)?

2)What is the point of Genesis 10-11 (cf. Deut. 32:8-9 and my article)?

3)How could a "non-angelic" view of the plural pronouns in Gen 1:26 be used or reconciled with the plural in Genesis 11:7?If you feel it cannot be so reconciled, how does this influence your understanding of the plurals in Gen. 1:26?

 

Assignment 10 – Read Baldwin's treatment of the patriarch Abraham; then read Hamilton, pp. 369-387, 417-440, and 458-484.Finally, read the following articles on how the promise of the Land to Abraham may or may not have been fulfilled during the monarchy of David and Solomon (whether you realize it or not, this question determines whether or not you believe in a coming literal millennium or not).Answer the questions that follow.

 

"Fulfillment of the Land Promise in the Old Testament," Jeffrey L. Townsend, Bibliotheca Sacra 142:568 (1985):320-333

"Covenant Conditionality And A Future For Israel," Ronald W. Pierce, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37:1 (1994):27-38

In 4-7 pages, explain why would the issue of whether Israel received the promised Land affect one's view of the millennial kingdom (literal 1,000 years or spiritual fulfillment through the Church).Hint:Much of this depends on whether the covenant with Abraham was conditional (if he or his descendants sinned, the covenant would be annulled or fulfilled with someone else) or whether there were "no strings attached" (God would fulfill it despite the sins of Israel)?Without letting your theological preconceptions dictate your answer, who builds a better case?What are the main issues you'll want to think about more?

 

Assignment 11 – Read the rest of Baldwin in its entirety.In 4-7 pages, answer the following.

1)How do the Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph stories help answer the questions in Assignment 10?

2)What do these patriarchal stories tell us about God's providence?

3)Generally (you can include Abraham here) how would you answer someone who asked you how these (and other) Old Testament personalities were saved by faith prior to the coming of Christ (hint – how are these personalities discussed in the New Testament)?